As this article mentions, the Board of Fisheries did not act on any proposals regarding the state’s dipnet fisheries at the Upper Cook Inlet meeting in February. The City of Kenai will be taking responsibility for making the fishery less damaging to habitat at the Kenai River but the Kasilof River still has no oversight whatsoever.
Dipnet work session brings hope for changes
The City of Kenai held their second work session on the dipnet fishery Tuesday night and 11 citizens shared their input as the city continues to troubleshoot ways to better manage the growing event.
Among the hot topics discussed was limiting motorized access to south beach, night closure for beach cleanup, clarification of parking and camping fees, riverbank erosion from boat wakes and the disruption of wetland vegetation from fishermen migration.
Two Kenai City Council members were present Tuesday, Robert Molloy and Brian Gabriel. Mayor Pat Porter, City Manager Rick Koch and city attorney Scott Bloom were present, along with several other department directors. Harbor Commissioners Tom Thompson, Bob Peters and Phillip Morin also participated in the work session.
Kenai resident Astrid Friend started off the public comments representing the South Beach Waterfront Landowners Coalition.
On behalf of south beach landowners she requested the City of Kenai restrict all motorized vehicles access to the south beach between Dunes Road and the mouth of the Kenai River. Having a direct public access and parking area off of the Inlet Salmon Road would mitigate the damage being inflicted, she said.
Ken Tarbox of Kenai addressed an issue raised by the Kenai Watershed Forum of how people migrate upstream to fish, which damages the marsh vegetation. He recommended the city close fishing in these areas for the entire month of July.
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